Meeting Date: 10/15/15 06:00 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: William & Ariel Durant Public Library

Details: HOLLYWOOD HILLS WEST NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL
PLUM COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA
 
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, 6pm
William & Ariel Durant Public Library
7140 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046
 
The quorum for Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Planning, Land Use & Management Committee is three. Public comments on agenda items will be heard when the item is considered. Public comments on other matters within the committee's jurisdiction may be made during the Public Comment period. Public comments are limited to two minutes per speaker; That limit may be modified at the discretion of the committee. Speakers are requested to sign in at the meeting. Action may be taken on any agenda item except Public Comment, announcements and reports. You may request a copy of printed materials that are distributed at the meeting. You may record the meeting by audio, video or photographic means as long as it is not disruptive. Meeting notices and agendas are posted at the William and Ariel Durant Public Library and at the Fuller Ave. entrance to Runyon Canyon. If you need translation or accommodation for a disability, please call the city Department of Neighborhood Empowerment at least three business days in advance (213-978-1551, or toll-free 3-1-1). The city is a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you believe the council is not following the law or its own rules you may file a grievance in writing with copies to both the Chair and the Secretary. The HHWNC bylaws can be found at www.hhwnc.org. Please be respectful of others, even when you differ with them.
 
1. Call to Order
 
2. Approval of Sept., 2015, PLUM meeting minutes.
 
3. General updates from Issue Chairs and Chairman.
 
4. 8150 Sunset Blvd.
Presentation from developer and architect and review of DEIR.
 
5. Old Business.
 
6. New Business.
 
7. Public Comments.
 
8. Adjournment.
 

Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes – DRAFT
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
 
PLUM Committee
 
October 15, 2015
 
Minutes
 
 
 
Present:           Cyd Zeigler (Chair), Oren Katz, Jim Geoghan, Casey Maddren, JoAnn Koplin (arrived after meeting convened)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Cyd Zeigler at 6:03 pm.
 
September minutes approved with minor changes.
 
General Updates
 
Infrastructure
Maddren noted that Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Blumenfield have launched the CityLinkLA initiative, aimed at providing internet access for all LA residents.  City has issued a request for proposals, asking companies to submit their plans for accomplishing this goal.
 
Traffic
Geoghan warned that with the holiday season coming, there would be several major films premiering on Hollywood Blvd., which will result in multiple street closures.
 
Project Data
Zeigler announced that he is working with an associate to create a spreadsheet listing all current projects in the HHWNC area, and that the hope is to update it after every meeting.
 
The DEIR for the 7500 Sunset project will be released to the public some time in December.
 
8150 Sunset Project
A team of representatives from the developers of the 8150 Sunset project were present to discuss revised DEIR and answers questions.
 
It was announced that at Councilmember Ryu's request, the deadline for the comment period on the recirculated DEIR would be extended to November 9.
 
Architecture
A partner from Frank Gehry's firm explained some of the factors that contributed to the development of the new design.  Gehry wanted to use the historic Garden of Allah, which formerly occupied the site, as a reference, while at the same time embracing the future of the area.  The project was also intended to serve as a gateway to the area for those coming down Laurel Canyon as it transitioned to Crescent Heights. 
 
The new design reduces the amount of commercial space and eliminates parking above grade.  Gehry wanted to create a porous site that allowed view corridors, while relating the various structures to buildings in the surrounding area, especially the Chateau Marmont.
 
The 2 primary pedestrian entrances are at the corners of the project, with another pedestrian entrance on Sunset.  There are 4 entrances for vehicles, 3 on Havenhurst and 1 on Crescent Heights.  Havenhurst entrances will be only for residential access and for deliveries.  All retail traffic will enter on Crescent Heights.
 
As to preserving the Lytton Savings building, it was decided that keeping it would limit the potential of the site, and so it will be demolished.
 
It is possible that there will be greater impacts to buried resources because the new design will mean digging deeper for parking
 
Traffic
 
The new project will generate fewer trips than the original proposal, due to 40% reduction of commercial space.  There will be fewer parking spaces but more per unit.  Residential and commercial parking meets code without taking reductions offered for bike parking.  There will be no commercial access on Havenhurst.  Exits on Havenhurst will be restricted to right turn only.  There will be a significant impact at Fountain and Havenhurst.
 
It was decided in discussions with LADOT to connect the existing traffic island at the southwest corner of the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights to the site by closing the right turn lane which allows eastbound traffic on Sunset to go south on Crescent Heights.  LADOT was concerned about pedestrian safety at existing crosswalk since there is no signal to control traffic.  LADOT was also concerned that the existing configuration caused hazards due to traffic from Sunset merging with southbound traffic on Crescent Heights.  In new configuration, a right turn cutout lane will be created for traffic moving eastbound as it approaches the intersection.  
 
PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Ride sharing continues to grow, and will no doubt be used by residents and visitors to project.  Project should have drop-off lane on Sunset, but this could block eastbound traffic.
 
There will be drop-off points internally, but none have been designated for Sunset.
 
How tall will tallest building be?
 
Tallest building will rise about 212 ft.  from Sunset, 234 ft. from Havenhurst.
 
Large cars and trucks will not be able to make right turn onto Crescent Heights given current plan for island.
 
Island will be reconfigured to allow large cars and trucks to make right turn onto Crescent Heights.
 
500 people will be living in project and will impact vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep bus stop at current location?
 
Tentative decision to locate bus stop on Sunset in front of project was thought to allow easy pedestrian access.
 
Pedestrian access on Crescent Heights will be difficult because of commercial entrance.  Patrons would have to go up to corner at Sunset to enter campus.
 
Is the island is supposed to be green space?  Seems like a bad choice with traffic and exhaust at corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights.  Not enough traffic lanes for growing density.  Believes traffic study is incorrect saying will be no significant traffic impacts.
 
CEQA and LA City thresholds were used to determine whether impacts will be significant or not.
 
The plan to put a signal at Havenhurst and Fountain would make traffic worse.  Would you consider creating a cul-de-sac on Havenhurst?
 
A cul-de-sac is an option, but cities prefer not to do that because it removes streets from public use.  Believe that signals at both ends of Havenhurst will improve flow and provide benefit for residents on Havenhurst.
 
Developer representative interjected that this is a proposal and that there are plenty of options to consider.  The developer would be willing to discuss these if the HHWNC would like to form a working group to talk about possible solutions.
 
It looks like the crown at the top of the larger tower is not functional.  Is there a need for it?
 
The crown is a screen to hide mechanicals.
 
A homeowner living on Havenhurst points out the neighborhood is historic and that the tower will block his view.  Why does the building have to be so tall?
 
Reducing height means squashing the building, which would give it a bulkier feeling.  The height is part of the architectural solution.
 
How many cranes will be on site during construction and how long will they be there?
 
Do not have that information.
 
The tallest building is out of context for the community.
 
Will patrons of commercial space enter on Havenhurst?
 
No patron access on Havenhurst.
 
What is total construction time?
 
Aprroximately 26 months.
 
Is it possible for patrons exiting on Crescent Heights to make a left turn?
 
Yes, you can turn left.  There is no signal.  Didn’t feel the need to restrict left turns.
 
Development will offer low-income and affordable units, which will benefit community.
 
How many affordable units?
 
11% of total project is for very low-income, 20 total units.  Rents will be set by city.
 
Has parking been allocated for trucks and workers during construction?  Parking is very limited.
 
Will create off-site areas for parking and shuttles will bring workers to site.
 
When is estimated beginning of construction?
 
Hard to say.
 
Architect rep says the design was inspired by the Garden of Allah, but it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the Garden of Allah.  Also concerned that Lytton Savings will not be preserved.  The bank should be saved.
 
We don’t try to emulate the past, we try to look forward, and also need to fit program on the site.  We believe it references the past but looks to the future.  Gehry’s plan relates more to the way the Garden of Allah occupied the space rather than trying to copy the design.
 
What options have been considered for saving all or part of Lytton Savings?
 
Will incorporate stained glass from bank into project.  Also looking at incorporating statue, and there are other possibilities to preserve it in part.  Some alternatives consider incorporating bank building, but developer believes it would not be beneficial to project.
 
What is in the project for existing residents?  Are there businesses that provide useful services, a market, a bank?
 
There will be a 25,000 sq. ft. grocery stroe, a bank, a health club and several restaurants.
 
The neighborhood already has a Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms and Crunch Gym.  Benefit of new businesses is questionable.
 
Tallest building is out of scale.  Why do the developer and architect feel this kind of marker is needed?
 
There are different scales in the neighborhood.  The developer and architect are trying to create an identity for the neighborhood.
 
The project shouldn't qualify for 3:1 FAR.  Plan for parking for compact cars is unrealistic, people in the area drive SUVs.  Concrete walls are not compatible with neighborhood.  The building is just too big.
 
In original plan, the tallest structure was 216 ft., now it's 234 ft.  Neighbors were concerned about height in the original plan.  Why did you raise height?
 
Neighbors felt that original plan didn’t fit with neighborhood.  Said they wanted something special, which is why developer changed to Gehry.
 
But why increase in height if neighbors were concerned about height?
 
To reorient building north/south changed proportions.
 
The projects is 100 ft. away from Hollywood fault line.  With all the talk about sustainability and resiliency, will the project be self-sustaining in terms of water and power
 
Yes.  It's a LEED project.  The State of CA insists on ELDP standards, which means energy use cannot increase above threshold of current site.  Hard to predict actual solar output. 
 
Will this be a green project? 
 
Can’t think of a project that has made more of a commitment to being green.  May not be solar panels or on-site water treatment.  To be determined.
 
Was traffic study based on current traffic, or did study include future traffic from projects planned for Sunset or under construction?
 
Study covers existing conditions and also forecasts increased traffic from additional growth.
 
Hope that developer will work with residents to mitigate traffic impacts.  Concerned about people crossing to property.  Don’t believe that traffic study reflects reality of additional traffic.
 
What about impacts to West Hollywood sewage system?
 
Did sewer study and there is more than adequate capacity. 
 
I walk on Sunset all the time, and I believe plan to reconfigure traffic island will be safer.  Existing right turn lane from Sunset to Crescent Heights is scary.
 
If there are no significant impacts with added traffic then why add a traffic signal at Fountain and Havenhurst?  Will not improve traffic at Fountain.  Has this been presented to City of West Hollywood?
 
Additional traffic generated by project going south on Crescent Heights will go westbound on Fountain, which is why light is needed at Fountain and Havenhurst.  City of West Hollywood is reviewing DEIR.
 
City of West Hollywood does not want light at that corner.
 
That comment has been addressed in DEIR.
 
City of LA is promoting walkable cities.  What is the planned width of sidewalks on Sunset?
 
15 to 20 feet width.
 
Gehry designed the Disney Hall, and there were significant problems with from heat and glare.  Has this been addressed?
 
This will be studied as the plan moves forward.
 
Where are low-income residents going to be shopping in this project?
 
Thanks for comment.
 
Will the site include billboards?
 
There will be no off-site signage.
 
Plan indicates all residential egress onto Havenhurst.  What are implications for traffic on Sunset and Crescent Heights?
 
These impacts were taken into account in traffic study.
 
LA Fire Code requires a project of this height to have the capability of 9,000 gallons per minute for fire flow.  Existing Sunset water main is old and fragile, and it is questionable whether it can deliver required flow.  Is it true that the developer is considering asking for an exemption from the LA Fire Code?
 
The Fire Code allows for alternatives based on specifics of project design.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
 
 
 

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